ICTU Silence on anti-union legislation is Deafening!

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NO2CrokePark2 Campaign

Press Release 28th May.

ICTU Silence on anti-union legislation is deafening

Labour TDs and Senators must reject anti-union law

Protest at Dail Eireann on Wed at 5pm

In a statement today the NO2CrokePark2 Campaign called on ICTU to break its silence on the The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill. The Bill, which is being rushed through the Dail and Seanad this week, is a fundamental attack on trade union rights and is being used to bully trade union members into accepting the Haddington Road Agreement.

The Finance Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill is a serious threat to trade union and democratic rights. The bill, if passed, will cut wages and pensions. It also gives government power to unilaterally freeze increments and to change conditions of service including working hours in the public service. It contains a coercive clause which threatens to freeze the increments due to workers in the public sector unless they sign up to the Haddington Road Agreement.

Campaign spokesperson Eddie Conlon said

“The fundamental right of workers to vote on any proposal on the basis of its merit is being undermined completely. There cannot be free collective bargaining when the government says accept our proposals or we will legislate for worse.

This legislation will mean that the pay of a public servant will be determined by their membership of a particular union rather than their grade or position. It will mean that two porters in a hospital or two teachers working in the same school could have different conditions. In effective this Bill discriminates against those unions who decide to take a stand against cuts and austerity.

This legislation changes the landscape in Ireland. It is remarkable that the leadership of the ICTU has been absolutely silent on the implications of the Bill. It is even more remarkable that the Bill is being introduced with the support of the Labour Party. Given the demand of the ICTU and the Labour Party for union recognition and collective bargaining rights in the private sector, they should now be opposing the reduction of such rights in the public sector. We are calling on ICTU to immediately condemn the legislation and for Labour TDs to vote against it.”

The Campaign is calling on all those concerned about trade union and democratic rights to protest at the Dáil on Wednesday at 5pm.